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No Social Security Benefit Increase in 2010 for the First Time in 30 Years

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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:55 PM
Original message
No Social Security Benefit Increase in 2010 for the First Time in 30 Years
The formula on which cost of living adjustments has not kept up with real inflation for at least the past decade. With people's 401Ks and retirement funds shrinking, the fake inflation numbers will really squeeze the retired elderly.

Inflation Statistics Manipulation
The Actual Inflation Rate



By ROBERT PEAR
Published: May 2, 2009
WASHINGTON For the first time in more than three decades, Social Security recipients will not get any increase in their benefits next year, federal forecasts show.

The absence of a cost-of-living adjustment, calculated under a formula set by law, will be a shock to older Americans already hit by plummeting home values, investment losses and rising health costs. More than 50 million people receive Social Security.

The forecasts, by the Obama administration and the Congressional Budget Office, indicate that Social Security beneficiaries will not receive any cost-of-living increase in 2010 or in 2011. The COLA is intended to preserve the purchasing power of Social Security, by increasing benefits to keep pace with consumer prices. In the last year, overall inflation has been low, largely because of the economic downturn and a decline in energy prices.

A freeze in Social Security benefits would have major implications for Medicare because the COLA, in effect, puts a cap on premiums for Part B of Medicare, which covers doctors services.

Social Security Is Not Expected to Rise

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe that will change when the bankers retire.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Maybe. But I'm hoping they'll just die.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. We did not get real cost of living raises throughout the Bush administration.
Everyone on SS should be receiving thirty percent more than they are. I heard it on the radio yesterday. So I think they should ante up that missing thirty percent and bring us current with the real cost of living. Time for seniors to organize and demand this correction.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
21. Sorry, can't do that. Those funds were already spent on wars we did not need.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 07:08 AM by Raster
cheney's net worth has risen 3000% since he took stole office. somebody had to pay for it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Is that 3000% a real figure or one you made up for purposes of
punctuating your post? If it's a real figure I would appreciate a source, if you have one, because it's just the proof I need to give to a relative who doesn't believe Cheney profited enormously from starting the wars. Thanks.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. Cheney's net worth on the day he took office as VP was approximately $3.1 million dollars...
Edited on Sun May-03-09 05:23 PM by Raster
Today his net worth is roughly $94 million dollars.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Thanks again and I can't wait to use this with said relative.n/t
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. The retirees never see it anyway.
Just as soon as they get the notice that the benefit is going to increase $26 , they get another piece of mail telling them that the Medicare premium or something else is going up by an equal amount.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. that kinda disagrees with what Dean Baker said
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/beat_the_press_archi...

"The answer to the mystery is lower taxes and higher transfers, most importantly the big cost of living increase in Social Security payments that seniors got this year. (The cost of living adjustment is based on the 3rd quarter CPI compared with the prior year. This included the run-up in gas prices, but not the subsequent fall.)"

As far as their welfare checks not keeping up with inflation, I am not sure my paycheck has kept up with inflation. First year I got a 3% increase, but retirement contributions at 4% kicked in. This last year my raise was completely eaten up by the increase in the cost of health insurance. That has probably been true for the last four years too.
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blowback Donating Member (681 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. their "welfare" checks?
:shrug:

seriously?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. They're not welfare checks. And per the DB piece you cite, the SS COLA is the only thing that kept
the economy for tanking more than it did.

"the fall" is being paid for now. no COLA.

I am so frigging tired of folks, supposedly working people themselves, who complain about the wages & benefits of other working people, & would seemingly be quite happy to see the entire working class fighting between each other to get minimum wages with NO benefits, no pensions, no SS.

They seem to think these things are what's keeping their own wages low. In fact, it's the opposite, as the last 30 years of reaganomics should demonstrate to anyone with a functioning brain cell.

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Welfare checks huh?
that statement is so offensive to me I cannot begin to tell you.

You HAVE:

1. a job
2. a retirement fund
3. received raises eaten up by inflation
4. Considers persons on Social Security to be welfare recipients which is not the case
5. Are only concerned with one thing and that is ME and how can I have MORE MORE MORE.

:mad:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. right, and the people crying about their COLA being too small
are only thinking of the starving children of Bomevia?

More for me, eh, since I make $12,000 a year, less the mandatory contributions to my retirement and the IRA contributions that are necessary to keep me from paying income taxes on top of my FICA taxes. Meanwhile a senior who makes say, $18,000 a year, tax free, would also get
1) free water from the city
2) a food sales tax rebate
3) a homestead credit

True, those only total to about $1,000 and my taxes are only $1,000, but hey they should all get a huge COLA, regardless of need. Somehow that will actually benefit low-income working people.

I actually thought about this at work today, when I first complained about having to goto work, but then said "it beats the alternative". Then I thought of some other alternatives besides unemployment. What if I was 1) independently wealthy, or 2) living off royalties from work I did in the 1990s, or 3) was retired, or 4) had a sugar-momma, or 5) could sponge off my parents. Those are alternatives too, aren't they?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. if you make 12K, you/re one of the folks who's going to get more than they put in from this
Edited on Sun May-03-09 06:17 AM by Hannah Bell
"welfare".

those people worked just like you, & you'll get the same free water when you're their age, so quit being such a whiner. i don't see anyone in this thread complaining about their cola being too small, either.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. Dude! Seniors and disabled people are not tax free!
They pay income tax. We pay income tax. More than you do, actually. Every fucking year since I was 18. Yep. A 'huge COLA'? When was that? Free water from what city? Maybe your city, but not any city I've ever lived in. I've also never lived in a State that taxes food purchases. So any rebate would be a local issue, or state maybe, I've never heard of such a thing.

I assume you intend to refuse your Social Security, when the time comes? It could be tomorrow.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. ah kwityerbitchin
I've paid into SS for over 30 years. What is your problem anyway?

Pissed off because you have a job and work? :wtf:

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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Such whining from someone so uninformed.
I have a pension of less than $18,000 (no social security but get the same percentage COLA as SS each year), and I pay taxes on every dollar. There may be places where seniors get free water (I don't suppose you have a link), but I've never heard of one, and I've also never heard of a homestead credit. I sure as hell don't get one. As for the "huge" COLA, how about letting us know about that one.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. that's pretty rich
Because you are not aware of the programs of my state and city, that makes ME 'uninformed' in your eyes. Funny.

Also, from the 1040, as I understand it, social security benefits are not 'taxable income' unless the senior has other income over $25,000, and even then only 20% of it is considered taxable income. Not to mention the 7.65% plus employer contribution that a wage earner pays on every dollar. I don't think I said anything about a pension, just social security income.

As for the huge COLA, that's what the debate is about, whether there should be one or not.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. 5) could sponge off my parents.
This is probably what you are doing anyway.

No one gets free water, free this, free that ... there is no free anything you fool!

I agree with another poster, try going back to night school. Maybe you'll get a GED someday.

:argh:

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. nice combination of ignorance, arrogance and vitriol
I cannot resist taking you to school. Will it help?

http://www.lvks.org/egov/apps/directory/list.egov?path=...

"The City established the Elderly Rebate Program in 1975. The program exempts the payments of sewer and refuse charges for City residents who are 62 years of age and older and whose total household income does not exceed the prescribed income that is set each year by the City Commission.

The following are guidelines for city residents to participate in the program:

Must be a resident of the City;
Must be 62 years of age or older at the time of your application (driver's license, ID card);
Must be the primary occupant of your residence;
Your water bill must be in your name.
Gross income including that of your spouse and anyone living with you cannot exceed:

1 Person: $23,950.00
2 Persons: $27,350.00
3 Persons: $30,800.00
4 Persons: $34,200.00
5 Persons: $36,950.00
6 Persons: $39,650.00
7 Persons: $42,400.00
8 Persons: $45,150.00"

So there, in theory, is an older person with almost twice my income, and perhaps tax free income (certainly if they make $20,000 a year, they are not paying $950 in FICA taxes like I did last year nor having $600 taken out of their income for their retirement nor putting $920 into their IRA account, and they get medicare without having to pay $2,666 a year like I do for health insurance.) So why not throw in another $250 in free city services? And if they own a home they paid off in 1995 and they bought it at 1970s prices and it's now worth $200,000, that should not stop them from getting a benefit that an $8 wal-mart worker, who is renting and trying to start/support a family, does not get.

Also, the superciliousness towards a low paid worker is just so progressive of you.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. so you resent older people
that might qualify for this help?

:wtf: is the matter with you anyway?

Better hope you never get sick; old is inevitable.

btw: Medicare costs abt. $100.00 a month. That does not include a costly supplemental plan or medications or other expenses. That house worth $200,000 will likely go towards in-home help or a nursing home sadly.

You better hope your parents don't ever need your help.

You have a lot to learn.

This is not Kansas.

:dem: :kick:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. see, I figured it would not help
I proved you wrong, lock, stock and barrel.

"there is no free anything you fool!"

Wrong. Then you took a dump on low income workers in general "probably somebody who does not even have a GED" (paraphrase)

Wrong again, since I have 8 years of University education and two degrees.

But doubtless that just proves, even more, that there is something "the matter" me.

We all have a lot to learn, and old is not inevitable, nor is ancient. As Ronnie Milsap sang "will a little luck and the Lord to get us through, someday we might be old folks too".
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #38
42. you are a fool
if you think gross income for two people of $27,500 is a lot of money you need to have your head examined. That is not even $14,000.00 a year per person. Subtract $1200.00 for Medicare alone from that figure. Now we are down to $12,800.00 per person before other medical expenses.

You have to meet the qualifications in KANSAS. This is not going on all over the USA, at least not where I live.

Water, sewage and garbage pick-up does not cost $100.00 a month either.

I hope you don't ever need "welfare" as you refer to Social Security as being. Make sure you tell your parents they are living on "welfare" too if they live to collect it.







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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. try reading what I wrote, instead of imagining I am writing other things
$21,000 a year is not a ton of money even for one person, but it's definitely more than $12,000. A full time worker at Wal-mart makes about $8.50 an hour. If that person is a single parent, they get no help from this program even though they only make $17,000 a year. They are probably paying rent and state income taxes too. Yet an elderly couple with $10,000 more in income than this worker, who may be living in a home that is paid for, gets a break.

You don't find that to be even a little bit outrageous? You prefer to attack a low income worker who complains about it?

True, I only spoke about a program that is in my town. That happens to be what I know about - my own town. But if it happens in my town, it probably happens in lots of other towns.

Check out the proposals in three states and look for the common factors

http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedigest/2007/02/multistate-...

"Legislators in Missouri, Kansas, and Georgia are debating reducing taxes on seniors in their state. Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas introduced legislation that would eliminate income taxes on Social Security benefits. On the surface, eliminating taxes on Social Security sounds like a wonderful idea. However, only a handful of states levy a tax on Social Security benefits and the Social Security Administration estimates that nationally about a third of current beneficiaries pay federal taxes on their benefits. Those who stand to gain the most from these proposals are better off seniors. "

What are the common factors? I see two of them.

1. A proposal to benefit seniors
2. "Those who stand to gain the most from these proposals are better off seniors."

Check out the tax breaks offered to seniors by state

http://www.retirementliving.com/RLstate2.html

Kentucky: "For homeowners 65 and older or totally disabled, $29,400 of the assessed value of their property is exempt from state taxes under the homestead provision." (n.b. a $30,000 exemption regardless of income or wealth)

Louisiana puts an income limit on it, but I find the limit to be kinda high

"A Special Assessment applies to the homestead of persons who are 65 years of age and older if the adjusted gross household income is below a certain level. For the tax year 2006, that level was $58,531."

Are you retired and making $55,000 a year? You get an exemption!! Are you working and making less than $30,000 a year? No exemption for you.

Same for tax deductions in New Jersey. "Those eligible must be 65 years of age or older ..."

Kudos to Maryland though, for their circuit breaker, regardless of age.

"The Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program (circuit breaker) allows credits against the homeowner's property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the person's gross income. In other words, it sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay based upon his or her income. The plan was called circuit breaker because it shut off the property tax at a certain point just like an electric circuit breaker shuts off the current when the circuit becomes overloaded. It provides annual property tax credits to homeowners who qualify by reason of income. It has no relationship to age."
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Social Security is NOT *welfare*.
Got news for you TOOTS, we ALL paid into that fund. :grr:

Hope you get some wingnut complaining about your *welfare check* when you start receiving checks.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. not all, and not on all income
things are different now that the tax rates have gone up and so has the cap. For people who paid in before 1985 and retired before 1990, they get back much more than they paid in. This is covered by my g-g-generation which is paying in much more than it will get back.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 06:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. i'm a boomer, & i've been paying exactly the same rates as you 1983
(when the reagan fix actually went in) to present, & i'm not retiring any time soon.

it ain't welfare.

things aren't so different in payout ratios as you think.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. I could easily be misinformed
it's not like I have done the calculations. I am thinking of somebody who retired in 1990 and paid most of their taxes at lower rates. They get back more than they paid in. But I read that many years ago, and it probably was opinion or error like much of what is in the M$M.

To me that is the trouble with it though, that a COLA goes out, not just to people who really need it, but also to many who really don't. Politically, I always see my representatives say 'how high' whenever AARP says 'jump'. I generally support assistance, or larger payments to the needy, but 'seniors' in my opinion run the gamut from the needy to the greedy.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
23. Maybe you should go to night school and learn the difference between
welfare and social security payments.

Then you could earn more than 12 grand a year and stop snivelling about what other people have.

:hurts:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. you sound just like a Republican
when they defend the Bush tax cuts.

Would this be the night school where you learned the difference between a logical argument and a string of insults? Is Hatred 101 a pre-requisite for most other classes there?
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. HEyYyYY, kiDs!!! For those unfortunate times when you finally run out of arguments,
ALWAYS REMEMBER that calling people a Republican is just as good as calling them a NAZI!!!!!

Godwin's Law is YOUR friend!!!!

:rofl:

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #23
43. right on
you said it before I did. :D

:dem:

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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. What was that someone was saying about great minds???/
I dunno, I guess I forgot...

:rofl:
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. How much of a raise did Congress just vote for itself? Will they be getting any raises in the next
2 years?
This is not good news....
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Increase of about $4,700 for 2009. There was some dancing about
on the issue, but they ended up with $4,700 for a pay raise for this year. They say they wont take one in 2010, but because they must vote NOT to get one, I wont be holding my breath..



<snip>
With the economy in turmoil, members of Congress are particularly sensitive to the pitfalls of publicly backing automatic pay raises for themselves. At the same time, they know that if they ban the automatic raises, they will be forced, in the future, to hold a vote every time they want their salaries to go up. And there is never a good time for headlines about relatively rich public officials deciding to give themselves more taxpayer money.
<snip>
Instead, Reid said, lets come up with a stand-alone bill on automatic pay raises that doesnt need to be attached to the spending bill, but that has the same effect.

Vitter said he didnt like that idea, because the bill could be ignored by the leadership and never come to a vote, like so many before it. So he forced a vote on his amendment to the spending bill. He lost, and the proposal was kept out of the bill. Reid, meanwhile, promised to take the stand-alone bill seriously and said he was committed to doing this.

But there is no word on when, or if, Reid might bring the bill up in the Senate, however. As for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she refused Thursday to say if she will hold a vote on the stand-alone bill. She did note, however, that Congress voted this week not to take a pay raise next year.
<more at link>


http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/03/13/politics/politi...

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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. Most of us do not get that much of a raise anyhow.
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Torn_Scorned_Ignored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. I had $116.00 this month left after paying my bills
and $34.00 in foodstamps.

Does Congress know how much toilet paper costs?

This stinks.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. Not as much as it will when the TP runs out.......
(SORRY, couldn't help myself...)
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. Once again, I feel we should eliminate the cap altogether on payroll tax...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 05:17 PM by cascadiance
And lower the percentage taken out so that those earning $250k pay the same raw amount that they pay now on their first $102k at the current percentage. No raise and a progressive lowering of the payroll tax liabilities for anyone making less than $250k and those over $250k would pay more as they SHOULD.

That should make social security and medicare more solvent and better able to keep up with inflation and if we get a lot of extra money, perhaps then medicare could be expanded with this funding to be the start of single payer health care for all rather than just the elderly.
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wcast Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ponzi Scheme
Remember in the 2000 election when everyone talked about a locked box for social security monies. Also remember when Bush said he would honor such a locked box, with several caveats, one of them being War. He then started an unnecessary war. If we went back to the locked box scenario, social security would never be in trouble. My pension is not spent to pay my union's expenses. Social Security should not be used that way either.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. Not surprising
I just want to point out that the over 60 crowd is the only voting group by age the President lost.

The over 60 crowd voted Democratic in 2000 but voted Republican in 2004.

:shrug:

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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
22. Question...were past raises based on the "Actual Inflation Rate" or
the other one you cited as being manipulated? If the same calculation has been used for 30 years and this is the one year that a raise isn't indicated - I'm not sure I understand the issue.


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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
31. That figures - I just got my first check on Friday.
Why is it I always get to the well the day after its dried up?
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
33. I had that talk with my mom.
She knows who caused this. Her brother (a rushite) wants to blame the Democrats. It is up to the party and to us to let every senior know who is responsible for draining our economy. And we need to point out that they often helped elect the jerks who took their money.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
37. Didn't Boomers vote Reagan and Bush II in?
Oh the irony.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. No...
Most boomers...born between 1946-1960 have been solid Democratic voterrs most of their lives. Some sold out for a few pieces of silver, but a vast majority of my peers have been strong Democrats.

It's the "yuppies"...those who "came of age" during Raygun...1960-1975 that were more rushpublican. There are surveys that show the shift and then it shifts back for those under 30.

Not sure what irony you're seeing here...
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